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Thor Movie Review – EXCLUSIVE

Let’s start with the end of the movie.  When you go see “Thor,” you must wait a full 7 minutes until the final screen credits.  There’s a scene with more movie, more intrigue, more of an upcoming direction.  That’s all I’m going to say.

For 50-year old director Kenneth Branagh,  “Thor” was forty years in the making.   The God Of Thunder debuted as a Marvel Comics’ Superhero in 1962.  As a starry eyed kid in Belfast Ireland, little Kenny buried his face into Thor’s universe.  I find it fascinating & miraculous that this kid somehow manifested a path to bring these larger than life characters to the big screen.   The second I found out that bit of information, my mind was set at ease.  Who better to take us on a ride in this world?  Fanboys have the passion!

The cast is solid.  Natalie Portman, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgard, Idris Elba & Chris Hemsworth as “Thor.”  The tone of the film has more of a definite Sci-Fi edge than previous Marvel films like “Iron Man” or “Spiderman.”  This time there are two worlds in addition to Earth.  The synopsis: Thor, the son of Odin of Asgard, gets banished to Earth sans his powers.  All I can say is, conflict lies within the family.

There’s also a bit of a love story going on here too.  Amidst all the Norse/earthling craziness, Natalie Portman manages to keep pulling the movie back into a realistic place.  Special shout out to Natalie who kept “Thor” eco-friendly by insisting the big Hollywood production do away with using thousands of plastic bottles on set.

A couple of technical things.  “Thor” has amazing sound & visuals.  I love onscreen acceleration.  “Star Wars,” “Superman,” “The Matrix,” “Apollo 13.”  Kenneth Branagh & his special effects team crushed it.  It’s very exciting to watch.  Did you know there were over 150 movie prop hammers used in the filming of  “Thor?”  The hammer named, Mjolnir was created to be an extension of Thor.  There were highly detailed, custom made metal hammers. By the same token, there were hammers constructed of lightweight foam.   The filmmakers were sticklers about having Chris Hemsworth holding Mjolnir in the exact same poses as Thor in the comic books.

I’m kinda 3D’ed out, but it works here.  “Thor” was built for 3D.  “Hoodwinked Too: Hood vs Evil,” not-so-much.  You’ll have a terrific time watching this on a regular movie screen.  If you’re willing to pay the extra freight, “Thor” is playing on IMAX.  This is an epic summer movie.  If you don’t have fun with this, just stay home & watch “Revolutionary Road” on Netflix.  If that’s you, you’re bummin’ me out.   My advice, get out there & catapult into the Marvel Universe!  You’ll be glad you did! “Thor” is rated PG-13

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Film Freak Movie Review Rango Rambles On In Hilarious Romp.

Make no mistake, “Rango” will 100% rope in an Oscar Nomination for Best Animated Feature in 2012.  It’s a lock.  “Rango” tells the story of desert varmints in need one thing for a better life…..water.  The animation is simply staggering against the backdrop of numerous classic Westerns.  The voice cast includes Johnny Depp, Ned Beatty, Bill Nighy, Alfred Molina, Abagail Breslin & Isla Fisher whose character’s name is Beans.  The Aussie actress says her secret to getting the voice just right was combining a bit of Clint Eastwood with a twang of Holly Hunter.  She did a fantastic job.  As did Johnny Depp.  Rango’s Ramblings are classic.

The movie drops a number of sophisticated jokes that will catapult straight over kids’ heads.  I like that.  It reminded me of  old Saturday morning Looney Tunes cartoons. There’s tons of adult humor woven into the material while the kids are still entertained.  This is such a clever effort.  You can see so many intricate layers within the animated frames, be it tumbleweeds, iconic gunfights, windblown sand, complex lighting, shading & overall attention to detail.

Go see it for yourself.   This movie is a terrific bang for your movie dollar.  Special shout out to director Gore Verbinski for fighting & insisting that “Rango” be released in regular 2D.   After seeing “Drive Angry” 3D, I’m just so burnt out on 3D.  It’s just too expensive & they are released to the public every weekend with or without reason.  Hollywood is always about the cash so thumbs up to Verbinski for standing his 2D ground.

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